“Pasta makes you go fasta,” laughs Kerry MacPhee, as she earned a well-deserved podium place on the sun-kissed island of Lanzarote, with another bewildering and remarkable display of racing on her steel two-wheeled horse.
Kerry has started 2020 off in confident style with a hugely impressive showing at the four-day MTB Lanzarote stage race against some of Europe’s top mountain bikers.
Riding and racing on the Spanish Canary Islands in January might sound bliss to some of us battling Mother Nature’s early year tantrums here in Scotland with cancelled ferries, wind burned cheeks and sub-zero temperatures.
But our superstar cyclist, who is of course the first and only Hebridean athlete to ever represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, didn’t fly south for anything other than to bust a gut and take names in the gruelling race.
A massive 90 per cent of the race is off-road and takes riders around dirt tracks, sand and even lava fields with each stage more challenging than the one before.
The four-day event begins with a short distance 39km ride before two day jumps to 56km.
The third stage is a 21km time trial, while the curtain falls on the event with the XL stage and an epic 87km race, with an added thigh-sapping 1500m of hill climbs thrown in to eek every inch of determination and drive out of the riders.
And as the dust settled on the bone dry island and the sweat dripped onto the podium, Kerry was stood in second place for another massive triumph to add to her laundry list length of prestigious titles and accolades.